Phelan forced to go to Plan B with Guineas hope
Group One prospect Notabadcraftsman will be forced to take on the older horses at Ellerslie on Saturday.
“We nominated him for the three-year-old race over 1400m, but there was only one entry and that was us,” trainer Craig Phelan said.
|Notabadcraftsman Photo: Race Images Palmerston North|
“The club rang back and said there was another option, the Rating 65, so he’s in that instead.”
Jason Waddell will continue his association with the gelding in the Nonie Kiely Memorial 1600.
A debut winner over 1200m at Tauranga last month, Notabadcraftsman holds a nomination for the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 11.
“We’re dead serious about Christchurch and the plan was always to give him 10 days off after that first run,” Phelan said. “He’s a smart horse and he’s been working well.”
Notabadcraftsman has a Group One pedigree to back his classic claims as a son of the Irish 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner Mastercraftsman and his mother is a half-sister to the Gr.1 Australian Guineas (1600m) winner Jolly Old Mac.
Meanwhile, a return to Te Rapa is planned for his in-form stablemate Big Mike, who led all the way to win on the Hamilton course last time out.
“We’ll probably go back there for a Rating 75 mile and then look to get him up over a bit of ground,” Phelan said.
“He’s still doing a few things wrong, like getting on the wrong leg, so we’re picking weaker options until he gets himself sorted out.
“He’s very babyish, but he is ticking little boxes each time and we’ll get things sorted out before we tackle any of the bigger guns.”
Big Mike has won three times, including a Premier Day success at Ellerslie in the autumn, from nine appearances. – NZ Racing Desk.